Another illustration of how streaming is changing how songs are written

With more music available than ever before, how can an artist ever hope to rise above all the noise? Even the most fantastic song ever written runs the risk of falling through the cracks, especially in the age of streaming.

Streaming has changed so much about the way we search out music. Savvy songwriters know this and are working to construct tracks in way that take advantage of all the machinations of algorithm-driven song recommendations. 

This brings me to this story in the Columbia Journalism review.

Music critics are lamenting the possibility of a machine-driven world that rewards artists not for their originality, creativity, or emotional authenticity, but for their ability to replicate proven, predetermined formulas. Studies show that pop music and lyrics have grown increasingly repetitive and homogenous over the past few decades, and there is a whole graveyard of startups mining streaming and social data to predict the next big hit. Research initiatives like Google Magenta and Sony’s Flow Machines are even training machine-learning algorithms to compose songs on the spot, aiming to be indistinguishable from human songwriting.

Read more here. It’s fascinating–and you may never listen to new music the same way again.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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